Managing Organizational Change – Choose a Company

Managing Organizational Change – Choose a Company

Select your two companies that have undergone some type of fairly substantial change in the recent past. Find the company and the change information online using EBSCO. Other ways to find information include utilizing Google, Yahoo Finance, or Reuters and looking up annual reports of companies that interest you. Often, reading the first sections of these reports (i.e., letters from CEOs) will give you ideas about changes they have gone through in the past year(s).


You will need to ensure the following.

  • Your chosen companies are publicly traded, so their information will be easy to research and find.
  • Your change in the two companies is comparable (i.e., don’t compare a new CEO to a change in the human resources information system [HRIS]. Do compare two changes in chief information officer.
  • The changes happened in the recent past so you will find sufficient online information about how they were handled, but not so recent that the information about the change results is still being researched and published.

Here are some examples:

  • Both Ford and General Motors experienced serious issues pre-, during, and post-TARP period, causing them to restructure and change how they do business. Each of them reacted to these pressures differently. A paper comparing and contrasting the way both companies reacted to this pressure would be very interesting and easy to set up in an organized fashion. Further, utilizing the grid of the image, you can discuss how they did handle these pressures (using which image) and how a different style of the leader (image) might have handled it differently.
  • Both Hewlett-Packard and Home Depot have had issues selecting a new chief executive officer (CEO) for their company. Reviewing the last 10 years of CEO history, a paper comparing and contrasting the pressures involved and how they impacted the overall productivity of the companies would be sustainable throughout the term.
  • Review any two companies in the airline industry, their entrance into (and possibly their completion of) bankruptcy, and how they handled the changes through management as a result (i.e., United Airlines and American Airlines).
  • Review any two companies who have recently been through some part of merger and acquisition change and how they handled the culture changes.
  • Review any two companies who have had industry changes, how they have reacted either successfully or unsuccessfully, and how their reactions perhaps resulted in their success or failure (i.e., Yahoo versus IBM).
  • These are simply illustrative. You can do research and find several companies and topics of change that could work for this Course Project, and you are encouraged to do so. If you have questions or need more ideas, please ask your professor for assistance.

Managing Organizational Change

The Change Analysis (Milestone 1)

This section focuses on the six different images of managing change and how each approach to change affects all that follows in its implementation and continued support. See the Project Images Grid below. Select three of the images from the grid. Then, analyze how those particular images would affect the ensuing diagnosis and implementation in your two selected companies on their change plans.

Example of Project Images Grid:

Here’s what to do:

  • Review the changes in each company and describe them thoroughly in a Word document. Explain how the change impacted the companies and whom it impacted. Compare some of the similarities and differences between the change in the two companies.
  • Review your prepared grid, and select three images of change from your grid. Complete the empty blocks on the grid for those three images using outlines, bullet points, and rough ideas for both companies’ changes.
  • In a Word document, analyze, compare, and contrast the three images and explain how the behaviors of those images would be different or the same during your company’s changes and how those differences could (or did) impact the success (or failure) of the change, comparing and contrasting the results at both companies.
  • Explain which image (or combination of images) you feel would have best facilitated the described change, and explain why.
  • Based on the information you read about the results of this change, state which image you think the leader of the change resembled the most. You may speculate on which image you feel best represents the change agent at either or both of the companies. This will depend on how much information you found about the internal workings of the company during the change.
  • This section should focus on evidence that demonstrates how the management of the organization integrated one or more of the six images of managing change, how effective the change was, and what management could have done differently to increase the probability of successfully implementing the strategic change initiative. Again, this is a compare and contrast paper, so include information about both companies in your report.
  • Conclusion

Determining the Change (Milestone 2)

Select a diagnostic model that you can utilize to review aspects of change activities and actions that have been taken by the companies chosen. For this analysis, we are looking at the parts of the companies as well as their strategies, as surmised by your earlier research. It is acknowledged that this information will not be complete as you are looking at these companies as an outsider, but a thoroughly researched paper will give enough data to allow some well-defended assumptions on your part.

Here’s what to do:

  • Select one diagnostic model (i.e., 6-box, 7S, congruence, or one of the others) to apply to the two chosen companies. Choose the model that you feel best identifies and measures the relevant aspects of the organization’s performance.
  • Apply the data obtained in your research through an analysis of the appropriate chosen model. This will allow you to create a diagnosis of where each company is today (per the model’s criteria).
  • Create a SWOT analysis for each of the two chosen companies’ change plans and programs, utilizing information obtained in the diagnosis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).
  • Compare the two company analyses to each other and offer your perspective (value judgment) of the effectiveness of the changes made to date in each case.
  • Identify potential areas of resistance that may occur and at least one strategy to respond to each. (This will most likely come from your weaknesses and threats section of your SWOT. If not, take another look at your SWOT.)
  • Make recommendations for further actions within the organizations and the rationale chosen for these recommendations.]
  • Conclusion

Communicating the Change (Milestone 3)

An important part of any change project is how the change is communicated to the organization, the change agents, the line workers, the customers, and the public. Along with media relations issues, communicating change (especially in a publicly traded company) can involve multiple legal and regulatory aspects as well as personnel and management concerns. Perhaps the single most difficult piece of handling Kotter’s “establish a sense of urgency” is that too many inexperienced or immature change agents read this to mean “panic the troops.” Never do this.

This project piece will have three parts:

  1. The main part of this project component will ask you to pick one of the company’s change plans and develop a communication plan for the company. This section should set out the stakeholders, the timeline of the communication plan, the method of communication, the rationale for why you chose this method of communication, the purpose of the communication, and identify who will do the communication. There must be at least four communication pieces listed but no more than six. You can use a table for this section.


  1. Select one of the communication pieces that you would have used that is listed in your communication plan, and write the communication in a Word document (either the text or the script, if the communication would have been oral). If you use any form of communication from templates you find online, be sure to cite your source. Your instructor will grade this based on how well it relates to the audience and stakeholder group to which it is intended.
  2. The real-world aspect of this project is that you will write a one- to two-page analysis of one of the media pieces about one of the company’s changes written (or provided via oral media) by the company. For this section of the project, please analyze any media, news, or other communications that explained the change going on in the organization. Explain in your paper how the company handled communicating the change to its stakeholders.
  3. Conclusion



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